Turkey Istanbul is a dynamic city, where you breathe like European and taste like Asian. Turkey Istanbul holiday was on my bucket lists to see its rich history, culture, trade and authentic taste spices. Oops !! I sound more like a food blogger than a Travel blogger.
Turkey Istanbul holidays with a toddler is a tricky part where we have lots of historical architecture, museums, neighborhood, bazaar (shopping arcades), food and value of money (cheap holidays).
We want to stay stick to our plan and entertain our little one at the same time. Our travel plan was for a week where we spend 2 days in Cappadocia (which I will feature next) and rest we did in Istanbul and neighborhood.
This is the perfect itinerary for full 3 days tour in Istanbul if you have fewer days can follow 2 days as well.
Turkey Istanbul Holidays:
Reach to Istanbul.. its around 4 hours + flight from Ireland there are two direct flights from Turkish airlines one will reach in afternoon and other at night.
Pro Tip for flights: Very cheap flights and offers on arrival visa European countries and USA.
Turkey Istanbul Holidays Booking hotel tip:
Two majors area to stay Old City and Modern City.
Old City: Sultanahmet is the area if you are a history lover.
Modern City: Taksim Square is where you will find lots of restaurants, food bars, Music, and Nightlife.
All you do check in hotel relax adjust yourself with the clock and head out for an authentic Turkish dinner.
We start our journey with the Bosphorus Turkish Night Tour Cruise.. which worth our night. Floating cruise on Bosphorus with a four-course meal, Belly dance, traditional Turkish dance and Live DJ. All under one roof. Click to find online booking to Nigth Cruise with Dinner.
Pro Tip: Sit with a front view Stage. Can be a book front table with the agent only online not available.
Turkey Istanbul Holidays Day 1
After the Breakfast its time to explore the Old City. Sultanahmet is the place where all the old and historical places can be found. Everything is well connected by foot. So wear some comfortable shoes to explore your day.
Day1 >> Blue Mosque
Among the top tourist place, where I want to have my 1st stop. To my amaze, it’s not blue. My entire life past assuming Blue Mosque with the blue color where it is teal Grey but it makes sense when you go inside and can see numbers of Blue titles in architecture.Usually, the mosque has one two or four minarets. But blue mosque has six which made this mosque different from others.
Pro Tip: Check online opening and Closing time of the mosque. Due renovation its closed for visitors only open at the time of prayer. There is additionally Light show for visitors in summers season.
Day 1 >>Hagia Sophia
It was once the largest Cathedral in the world. Hagia Sophia was twice destroyed, but later it becomes Mosque over 500 years ago. This place has a unique combination of Church and mosque together, which cannot be found at any other place. It has a marvelous architecture of church and beautiful merge of Islamic art.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to visit the 1st-floor gallery and peak outside the window for the panoramic top view of Blue Mosque.
Take a Break for a Lunch or a quick power booster snacks and get ready for more discovering history
Day 1 >>Topkapi Palace
This place holds some great history from the Islamic culture and a great sight over the Golden Horns and the Sea of Marmara. The palace is just behind Hagia Sophia. Topkapi palace once the Heart, Brain, and Centre of Ottoman Empire.
Pro tip: For a perfect Panoramic view follow the Sign of Observation Deck at Topkapi Palace. If Islamic History is your 1st choice must visit the museum which is the extreme left of the Palace.
Day1 >> Garand bazar
One of the oldest and largest covered Bazaars in Istanbul. The market was open in 1461. This market is full of local goods like original stones jewelry, Wool wraps, Spices, Turkish ornaments pottery and Turkish carpets. There is much to see for a window shopping in the market but if you want to buy something you need lots of bargaining skills.
Opening timing of Grand Bazar is 9am-7pm closed on Sundays.
Pro Tip: Bargain rates are very high if planning to buy something ask for 50% less or more.
Avoid shops in front they do fewer discounts. Search well before buying anything.
Turkey Istanbul Holidays Day 2
Istanbul holidays Day 2 is the combination of European and Asian Side.
Day 2 >> Galata Bridge / Tower:
Driving over the Galata Bridge, where you observe a number of local fishermen enjoying fishing.
Reaching to the Galata tower you can observe the beauty of the tower. Climb the top of the enchanted view of Istanbul over the Golden Horn and Bosphorus.
Pro tip: Sunset time is the most beautiful time to visit this place.
Day 2 >> Taksim Square:
The Square was once a meeting point for the locals from the other parts of the neighborhood. Stop and have a pictures moment at the Momentum of the Republic.Take a Ride on the Tram is one of the must do things at Taksim Square. Take a Tram to Tunnel Square and walk back to the main Shopping street is the way discover this place.
Day 2 >> Golden Horn
Drive towards the Golden Horn to see the megastructure bridge which is about a 15-minute drive from Taksim Square.
Pro Tip: Taxies are very reasonable as compare to Europe.
Day 2 >> Eyüp Sultan Mosque
Our last historic stop to the Asian side. The area of Eyüp Sultan Camii surrounds with the beautiful mosque which was a 1st mosque built at the Asian side of Istanbul and the grave of Eyüp Sultan which holds a significant value in Islamic history.
Pro tip: There is a cable car which will take you to the Pierre Loti Hill to have a beautiful bird’s eye view of the city across the Golden Horn. Plus you can enjoy the sunset with a Turkish tea and a sheesha.
Totally discovering neighborhood The Princess Island Tour. This tour is perfect for a nature lover.
We booked this tour with one of the tour companies, which you can do very easily by your hotel desk or online click for details.
They pick you from the hotel and drop you for the cruise. The cruise ride will take you from Seagulls to “Buyukada” to the two most stunning Islands.
First Island is a small island where you can enjoy the horse-carriage ride. We stop in between for a perfect pictures places and the tour ends with a loop of 20 minutes.
Reaching to the second island where you have an ample time to explore the island. There is a number of shops, walking tracks in between natural beauty and beach (opens in summer only).
Lunch is included with a beautiful view of the sea. We discover the island by the jaunting car as it’s our Toddler favorite activity and he loves horses. The entire island tour around 45 minutes to all the way up and down the hilly area of the island.
The tour ends at 4 pm. Reach the hotel, stretched our legs before packing bags back to home.
Do share your experience if you already been to Turkey or Bookmark for your future trip to Turkey Istanbul Holidays!